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2014 Standings
After Pocono
Driver Standings

1 Will Power 446
2 Helio Castroneves 446
3 Simon Pagenaud 402
4 Juan Pablo Montoya 391
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay 388
6 Carlos Munoz (R) 340
7 Marco Andretti 325
8 Scott Dixon 297
9 Ryan Briscoe 285
10 Sebastien Bourdais 271
11 Tony Kanaan 267
12 James Hinchcliffe 266
13 Mikhail Aleshin 263
14 Justin Wilson 253
15 Charlie Kimball 239
16 Jack Hawksworth 227
17 Carlos Huertas (R) 224
18 Josef Newgarden 220
19 Graham Rahal 202
20 Sebastian Saavedra 196
21 Takuma Sato 189
22 Mike Conway 152
23 Ed Carpenter 138
24 Oriol Servia 88
25 Kurt Busch (R) 80
26 JR Hildebrand 66
27 Sage Karam (R) 57
28 James Davison (R) 34
29 Jacques Villeneuve 29
30 Alex Tagliani 28
31 Luca Filippi 24
32 Townsend Bell 22
33 Pippa Mann 21
34 Martin Plowman (R) 18
35 Buddy Lazier 11
36 Franck Montagny 8

Rookie of the Year
1 Carlos Munoz 340
2 Mikhail Aleshin 263
3 Jack Hawksworth 217
4 Carlos Huertas 204
5 Kurt Busch 80
6 Sage Karam 57
7 James Davison 34
8 Martin Plowman 18

Wins
T1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 2
T1 Will Power 2
T1 Simon Pagenaud 2
T4 Mike Conway 1
T4 Helio Castroneves 1
T4 Carlos Huertas 1
T4 Ed Carpenter 1
T4 Juan Pablo Montoya 1

Podium Finishes
T1 Will Power 5
T1 Helio Castroneves 5
2 Ryan Hunter-Reay 4
T3 Carlos Munoz 3
T3 Juan Pablo Montoya 3
T6 Marco Andretti 2
T6 Simon Pagenaud 2
T8 Mike Conway 1
T8 Carlos Huertas 1
T8 Scott Dixon 1
T8 Tony Kanaan 1
T8 Graham Rahal 1
T8 Charlie Kimball 1
T8 Ed Carpenter 1
T8 Jack Hawksworth 1
T8 Mikhail Aleshin 1

Lap Leaders:
1 Will Power 348
2 Helio Castroneves 174
3 Ryan Hunter-Reay 165
4 Ed Carpenter 116
5 Tony Kanaan 79
6 Juan Pablo Montoya 74
7 Takuma Sato 67
8 James Hinchcliffe 56
9 Simon Pagenaud 53
10 Jack Hawksworth 32
11 Scott Dixon 27
12 Marco Andretti 22
13 Justin Wilson 20
14 Sebastian Saavedra 14
15 Graham Rahal 10
16 Mike Conway 8
17 Josef Newgarden 8
T18 Oriol Servia 7
T18 Carlos Huertas 7
19 Ryan Briscoe 5
20 Mikhail Aleshin 4
21 Alex Tagliani 3
22 Sebastien Bourdais 2

Entrant Points
Pos. # Entrant Points
1 12 Team Penske 446
2 3 Team Penske 446
3 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports 402
4 2 Team Penske 391
5 28 Andretti Autosport 388
6 34 Andretti Autosport/HVM 340
7 25 Andretti Autosport 325
8 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing 297
9 20 Ed Carpenter Racing 290
10 8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing 285
11 11 KVSH Racing 271
12 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing 267
13 27 Andretti Autosport 266
14 7 SMP Racing 263
15 19 Dale Coyne Racing 253
16 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing 239
17 98 BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian 227
18 18 Dale Coyne Racing 224
19 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing 220
20 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 202
21 17 KV/AFS Racing 196
22 14 A.J. Foyt Racing 189
23 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 112
24 26 Andretti Autosport 88
25 21 Ed Carpenter Racing 66
26 22 Dreyer and Reinbold 57
27 33 KV Racing Technology 34
28 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 29
29 68 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing 28
30 6 KV Racing Technology 22
31 63 Dale Coyne Racing 21
32 41 A.J. Foyt Racing 18
33 91 Lazier Partners Racing 11

Finishing Average
1 Helio Castroneves 5.81
2 Kurt Busch 6.00
3 Will Power 6.09
4 Simon Pagenaud 6.72
5 Sage Karam 9.00
6 J.R. Hildebrand 10.00
T7 Scott Dixon 10.18
T7 Carlos Munoz 10.18
9 Juan Pablo Montoya 10.45
10 Ryan Hunter-Reay 10.72
11 Ryan Briscoe 11.75
12 Marco Andretti 12.125
13 Carlos Munoz 12.375
T14 Oriol Servia 12.5
T14 Justin Wilson 12.5
16 Alex Tagliani 13.0
17 Sebastien Bourdais 13.25
18 Charlie Kimball 13.625
19 Mike Conway 13.66
T20 Jacques Villeneuve 14.0
T20 Ed Carpenter 14.0
22 Carlos Huertas 14.25
23 Mikhail Aleshin 14.875
24 James Hinchcliffe 15.125
T25 Takuma Sato 15.5
T25 Jack Hawksworth 15.5
27 Sebastian Saavedra 15.75
28 James Davison 16.00
29 Josef Newgarden 16.375
30 Graham Rahal 16.625
31 Martin Plowman 20.5
32 Franck Montagny 22.0
33 Pippa Mann 24.0
34 Townsend Bell 25.0
35 Buddy Lazier 32.0

Pole Positions
T1 Takuma Sato 2
T1 Will Power 2
T1 Helio Castroneves 2
T4 Ryan Hunter-Reay 1
T4 Sebastian Saavedra 1
T4 Ed Carpenter 1
T4 Simon Pagenaud 1
T4 Juan Pablo Montoya 1

Appearances in the Firestone Fast Six
1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 4
T2 Scott Dixon 3
T2 Will Power 3
T2 James Hinchcliffe 3
T2 Helio Castroneves 3
T2 Jack Hawksworth 3
T7 Simon Pagenaud 2
T7 Josef Newgarden 2
T9 Takuma Sato 1
T9 Marco Andretti 1
T9 Sebastien Bourdais 1
T9 Tony Kanaan 1
T9 Sebastian Saavedra 1
T9 Mike Conway 1
T9 Juan Pablo Montoya 1
T9 Ryan Briscoe 1
The Contenders: Briscoe blossoms into title force

IndyCar
Monday, October 05, 2009

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Ryan Briscoe
The genesis of Ryan Briscoe's IndyCar Series championship drive can be traced to June 2008 at The Milwaukee Mile, where he celebrated in an IndyCar Series victory circle for the first time. More importantly, the win provided the source of renewed self-confidence, which is crucial to any race driver's continued success.

"Milwaukee was the most special win of my entire career, let alone of that season," said Briscoe, who turned 28 on Sept. 24. "It was a breakthrough moment where I was having some bad luck at the beginning of the year and finally I got that race win. It was on an oval as well and I think it really catapulted me on to having a successful remaining 2008."

The positive momentum of 2008 segued into a successful 2009 in which the Australian has scored three victories, 12 top-five finishes (seven runner-up finishes) in 16 races, four pole starts and 636 laps led. Briscoe, who in 2007 was looking to get back into the IndyCar Series full time, is staring at an opportunity to claim his first driver championship. He enters the season finale Oct. 10 at Homestead-Miami Speedway trailing front-running Scott Dixon by eight points and Dario Franchitti by three.

"It's really exciting," said Briscoe, who wound up fifth in the '08 title race in his first full season with Team Penske. "At this point, it's a highlight in my career. It's going to be close, but the team's been doing an unbelievable job this year and I feel as though I've stepped it up this year. Experience is the big thing; experience with the right people. I've been learning from the right people and really working hard on improving my game at becoming a better driver.

"With experience comes confidence, and you need that going into these weekends where they are so short and there isn't a whole lot of time to prepare. You need to come out of the box strong, and I think that's been a big difference this year."

Briscoe was short on confidence after a horrifying experience at Chicagoland Speedway in September 2005. The Target Chip Ganassi Racing car he was driving clipped the wheel of another car and vaulted into the catch fence between Turns 3 and 4.

"When I was airborne and could see the sky, I knew it wasn't going to be pretty," said Briscoe, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries. "When I was in the ambulance and I could move all the important limbs I knew I would be OK."

A teammate of Dixon for '05, Briscoe was not retained by the team for his sophomore season. With his injuries healed but self-confidence still bruised, Briscoe was a journeyman in 2006 - competing in four IndyCar Series races with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (high finish of third at Watkins Glen), Team Australia in the A1GP championship, two Champ Car starts with RuSPORT and the Rolex Grand Am Series.

"The thought of getting back on the ovals though was a little daunting," said Briscoe, who ran at Nashville and Milwaukee. "I took it upon myself really to say if 'I don't do this, no one is going to feel as though personally I can go back and do it.'

"I really felt like the teams weren't considering me because either they thought I'd be scared or the same thing would happen and they didn't want to take that responsibility. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing gave me this opportunity."

And he made a positive impact in a part-time role. He accepted an offer from Penske Racing to compete in the American Le Mans Series for 2007 - without the guarantee of an IndyCar Series ride. The move paid off when Briscoe was chosen to fill the seat of Sam Hornish Jr., who transferred to the Penske Racing stock car operation after the season.

It was the opportunity Briscoe was seeking, and he fully understood he'd have to prove himself again with the historic Indy car racing team.

"Obviously, you come to a team like this and you want to believe that you're capable of winning championships and winning Indy 500s," he said. "When I came on board on the IndyCar side at the beginning of last year, I had really no expectations of winning the championship that year just because I felt so much like a rookie."

Scoring his maiden win at Milwaukee - the 300th race victory for Roger Penske as an owner - and adding victories at Mid-Ohio and the exhibition race in his Australian homeland gave rise to prognostications of championship contender. For '09, consistency was the objective. Accomplish that and the championship door would open.

"It's something I've definitely been working hard on over the last few years," Briscoe said. "(Penske Racing president) Tim (Cindric), (teammate) Helio (Castroneves), (consultant) Rick (Mears) have all helped, but probably most importantly has been Roger in my ear for the last three years at every single race. Having him as my strategist at ALMS and the last two years in IndyCar, he's really helped me strategize each race and go at the right time and wait when I need to wait. If you look at my past, it's probably exactly what I needed."

On five 1.5-mile ovals this year that are similar to Homestead-Miami Speedway, Briscoe has two victories (Kentucky and Chicagoland), an average starting position of 3.4 and finish of 5.2.

"I think I've improved, and certainly gained confidence going into a race weekend on these types of tracks," Briscoe said. "We've had great runs at all of them this year -- Kansas, Texas, Kentucky and Chicago -- so I feel really good about closing out the season with a win."

That almost assuredly would create a double celebration in Victory Circle at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

"Winning the championship would be huge; the biggest achievement in my career to this point," he said. "It would be awesome to come back to try to do it again next year."

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